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Opencourseware and free educational resources online

1665 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Icekilla
This thread was really hard to place on OCN, so I hope this will do.

For starters:

OpenCourseWare, or OCW, is a term applied to course materials created by universities and shared freely with the world via the internet. The OCW movement began at MIT with the launch of MIT OpenCourseWare in October 2002.

According to the website of the OCW Consortium, an OCW project:

* is a free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials, organized as courses.
* is available for use and adaptation under an open license.
* does not typically provide certification or access to instructors.

Some of you might have heard of the MIT OCW- it is the most popular from what research i've done. However it is not the only one, and I'm going to provide you with links for the ones that I know about.

Free courses or lectures resource list:

http://ocwfinder.com/ and http://www.ocwconsortium.org/use/use-dynamic.html are both search engines to help you locate what you're looking for.

Another option you have is Google. For example, I did a simple search with: ocw site:*.edu
(just edit it by adding a course that you want to find... etc)

From an article from Education-Portal, i've found a list with a general description which i've found to be a great starting place:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (mit.edu)

If you are looking for a wide range of free courses offered online, MIT is your best option. More than 1,800 free courses are offered through the school's OpenCourseWare project. Courses are in text, audio and video formats and translated into a number of different languages. Students all over the world use OpenCourseWare and 96 percent of visitors to this site say they would recommend it to someone else.

Open University (open.ac.uk)

The Open University is the UK's largest academic institution. The school's OpenLearn website gives everyone free access to both undergraduate and graduate-level course materials from The Open University. Courses cover a wide range of topics, such as the arts, history, business, education, IT and computing, mathematics and statistics, science, health and technology.

Carnegie Mellon University (cmu.edu)

Carnegie Mellon University offers a number of free online courses and materials through a program called Open Learning Initiative. OLI courses are intended to allow anyone at an introductory college level to learn about a particular subject without formal instruction. Course options include such offerings as statistics, biology, chemistry, economics, French and physics.

Tufts University (tufts.edu)

Like MIT, Tufts has OpenCourseWare that is available free to everyone. Courses are sorted by school (i.e. School of Arts and Sciences, School of Medicine, etc.) and include assignments, lecture notes and other supplementary materials.

Stanford (stanford.edu)

Stanford University, one of the world's leading academic institutions, has joined forces with iTunes U in providing access to Stanford courses, lectures and interviews. These courses can be downloaded and played on iPods, PCs, and Macs and can also be burned to CDs. If you don't have iTunes, you can download it here for free.

University of California, Berkeley (berkeley.edu)

UC Berkley, one of the best public universities in the nation, has been offering live and on-demand webcasts of certain courses since 2001. Hundreds of UC Berkley courses, both current and archived, are now available as podcasts and webcasts. Courses cover a range of subjects, including astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer programming, engineering, psychology, legal studies and philosophy.

Utah State University (usu.edu)

Utah State University also provides access to free online courses. Study options include everything from anthropology to physics and theatre arts. These comprehensive text-based courses can be downloaded as zip files or viewed directly on the site.

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (kutztownsbdc.org)

Kutztown University's Small Business Development Center offers the largest collection of free business courses available on the web. Course topics include accounting, finance, government, business law, marketing and sales. Comprehensive text, interactive case studies, slides, graphics and streaming audio help to demonstrate the concepts presented in each course.

University of Southern Queensland (usq.edu.au)

The University of Southern Queensland in Australia provides free online access to a number of different courses through yet another OpenCourseWare initiative. Courses from each of the five faculties are available, covering a broad range of topics, including communication, science, career planning, technology, teaching and multimedia creation.

University of California, Irvine (uci.edu)

UC Irvine, one of the nation's top public universities, recently joined the OCW Consortium and began providing free university level courses online. Right now, there are only a handful of options to choose from, but this list is growing. Current courses cover topics like financial planning, human resources, capital markets and e-marketing. Course materials include syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and exams.

Notre Dame


Delft University of Technology

UMass Boston

Korea University


Another composite site is Academic Earth-- it's a startup founded by a young Yale graduate named Richard Ludlow who began collecting videos and packaging them into full-length courses.*

From Academic Earth:

Academic Earth is an organization founded with the goal of giving everyone on earth access to a world-class education.

As more and more high quality educational content becomes available online for free, we ask ourselves, what are the real barriers to achieving a world class education? At Academic Earth, we are working to identify these barriers and find innovative ways to use technology to increase the ease of learning.

We are building a user-friendly educational ecosystem that will give internet users around the world the ability to easily find, interact with, and learn from full video courses and lectures from the world's leading scholars. Our goal is to bring the best content together in one place and create an environment that in which that content is remarkably easy to use and in which user contributions make existing content increasingly valuable.

We invite those who share our passion to explore our website, participate in our online community, and help us continue to find new ways to make learning easier for everyone.
Other's have developed blogs that focus on specific topics, like this one for Science and Programming. (See the Available Lectures on the right)

And another website composite: Free-Electrons focuses on education for Embedded Linux Devices.

About Free-Electrons:

At Free Electrons, we believe in the usefulness and strong potential of Free Software and open standards in embedded systems and handheld devices, for many reasons.

The goal we chose at Free Electrons is to support organizations and individuals using or developing Free Software for embedded systems and handheld devices.

We try to do this by

* Contributing to Free Software projects. This is also useful for us to build expertise and stay familiar with the most advanced community trends and technologies.
* Contributing to making more compatible hardware available to users, developers and corporations.
* Offering Embedded Linux Training sessions.
* Offering support and consulting services to organizations.
* Developing Linux device drivers or user applications for your systems.
* By using exclusively Free Software, in all aspects of our activities.
* By sharing everything we produce (software, articles, training material) under a free software or documentation license.

Free Electrons is located in Sophia Antipolis (region of Nice and Cannes) and Toulouse, France, and targets organizations and individuals throughout the world.
Another resource is from oedb.org: Take Any College Class for Free: 236 Open Courseware Collections, Podcasts, and Videos

Youtube has launched an educational face to the most popular video sharing website on the net. YouTube EDU is a volunteer project sparked by a group of employees who wanted to find a better way to collect and highlight all the great educational content being uploaded to YouTube by colleges and universities. Official anouncement is tomorrow with some videos featured on homepage.

Free textbook resource list:

Another article from Education-Portal: 50 Places to Find Free Books Online

The above article includes one particular site that OCN might enjoy: http://www.freetechbooks.com/

Free Online Computer Science and Programming Books, Textbooks, and Lecture Notes

Another popular resource is Flat World Knowledge:

A New Approach to College Textbooks. Finally.

We preserve the best of the old - books by leading experts, rigorously reviewed and developed to the highest standards. Then we flip it all on its head.

Our books are free online. We offer convenient, low-cost choices for students - softcovers for under $30, audio books and chapters, self-print options, and more. Our books are open for instructors to modify and make their own (for their own course - not for anybody else's). Our books are the hub of a social learning network where students learn from the book and each other.

Flat World Knowledge. Because great minds are evenly distributed. Great textbooks are not. Until Now.

The other popular free textbook site is Textbook Revolution:

Textbook Revolution is the web's source for free educational materials. This is a student-run, volunteer-operated website started in response to the textbook industry's constant drive to maximize profits instead of educational value.

TBR's mission is to drive the adoption of free textbooks by teachers and professors. We want to get these books into classrooms. Our approach is to bring all of the free textbooks we can find together in one place, review them, and let the best rise to the top and find their way into the hands of students in classrooms around the world.

If you know of any other resources that OCN might find valuable, please add them here!
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I'm glad I found this. Thanks a lot yawnbox +rep
Cool thread... +Rep...
excellent work my friend some are a bit dated now xD but excellent all the same
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